tv Headline News RT August 17, 2017 5:00pm-5:30pm EDT
coming up on our team america tech tragedy in barcelona as at least twelve are killed and over eighty injured when a van slams into a pedestrian and along a very crowded walkway authorities say it is terror. and solidarity and stroll it's billed as four thousand people gathered on the return of the university of virginia to pay respects to have their higher. and u.s. allies in syria say the united states presence in the country will remain past their mission completion but is that a good thing those stories and more coming up right now.
it's thursday august seventeenth five pm in washington d.c. i'm ashley banks and you're watching our team america we begin today with a terror attack in the spanish city of barcelona at least a dozen dead many more injured after a van a rammed into the crowd at the busiest street in the city local authorities have reportedly arrested a suspect and they have no doubts that this was a terrorist attack artie's alexy he joins us live with the details now alexey what do we know at this point well we have a confirmed number of the dead at this moment it's twelve people that something has been confirmed by the catalonian authorities and spanish authorities as well also the number of those injured now treated in hospitals all across barcelona stands at eighty people the large percentage still a large proportion of the of the eighty people reportedly in serious condition so they've got a long enough. g.'s say that the death toll is expected to rise hopefully it won't
but it's something that cannot be ruled out so the attack itself happened at five pm local time and well i would say this is probably the busiest street in the whole of spain not just in barcelona all of our viewers who haven't been to that wonderful city know that. is just the place to go for all the tourists and eyewitnesses report that at the time of the attack the street was crammed with hundreds of people the street itself is almost four miles long and the rented. which was used for this attack rammed into the crowd and drove at least half a mile down the street so you would understand you know the scope of this tragedy the scope of the attack this is reported that the car was swerving across the street hitting people randomly and as soon as the attack was put to and then the
bodies were everywhere there was blood on the street so there were terrifying accounts from eyewitnesses on the ground nevertheless we now understand that two suspects have been arrested by the authorities one of those picture of one of those has been released by the spanish police presumably his passport was found in the van and he is a spanish citizen of moroccan origin his name is drink beer but again we are waiting for confirmation whether he is actually the suspect as well as the names of other suspects because one other was arrested there was also a lot of conflicting reports about a third suspect potentially being shot by the police but that has been not been confirmed or denied at this moment and at the meantime also we know that an affiliate organization the affiliate of islamic state terror group has claimed responsibility for this attack describing the perpetrators of this terror act in barcelona as it's soldiers so basically that's what we haven't. the moment alexina
this isn't the first attack over the last year is that correct it is certain to be in a very rough year since july twenty sixth when on the steel day in france july fourteenth a truck rammed into the crowd of people in south and resource city in france killing eighty six people a very similar attack if you think about it also very soft targets also a vehicle used to ram into the people eighty six people were dead again so just recently this summer we witnessed a number of terrorist attacks across europe particularly london and man just during the area on the ground in concert also many people were killed in this respect has not been the primary terrorist target over the years although we do we remember well the two thousand four hundred attacks which was one of the biggest attacks against europe at that time hundred and ninety two people were killed back then but when it comes to barcelona this is the first attack of such kind there had been
warnings reported warnings coming from both the terrorist organizations also there is an unconfirmed information that even the cia was a war was warning the spanish authorities about about the possible attack but nevertheless pain is not involved in any middle east and operations it's not sending its troops to the middle eastern countries it's really hard to see what the justification of the terrorists would be in this case but nonetheless as isis has claimed responsibility it's without question a terrorist attack in barcelona such sad news alexi thank you so much for that report that was r.t. correspondent like zero shots. now let's bring in former u.s. diplomat jim jacques trysts jim thank you so much for being here with us first off i want to start with the what do you make of what's happened in barcelona today well if everything is as it appears to be and i don't think there's any reason at this point to doubt that it is what it appears to be it's groundhog day it's the kind of attack we've seen before in europe this kind of attack we'll see again.
obviously the one that the steel day in and say is the biggest one of the sort where somebody uses a vehicle like this to kill a bunch of people but it's a very convenient tool for people who are inclined to do things like this and jim wife spain do you see do you believe that terrorists see this country as a soft target it look if it's a question of somebody who has the mentality to do something like this and wants to to attack people that he considers somehow the enemy whatever his illicit something it was a jihad motivation why spain well because i happen to be in spain so i'll do it here if he was in italy maybe he would have done it in italy i don't know there was any specific reason i mean to a spanish policy unlike say two thousand and four where that massive attack was it that the perpetrators indicated was linked to spain's participation in the iraq campaign the coalition of the willing led by by george bush and it caused by the way a rapid withdrawal of the spanish forces so i don't think there's any particular connection
like that i think that's the target of opportunity and gentoo your point we've seen these types of attacks happening all too often and needs to london stockholm and quite a few other places that spanish newspaper was reporting that the cia warned the local police in barcelona two months ago that their city could be attacked in alexy just spoke on this earlier and now we just saw this attack took place today jim is there anything authorities can do to get ahead of these types of attacks and prevent them in the short term no and in fact a lot of european governments are essentially telling their people that this is a fact of life this is the new normal the only way to look at it in terms of a bigger picture is something they don't want to contemplate is look this guy who did this i don't know if he was born in morocco or was born in spain of moroccan origin but the fact of the matter is there is a large underclass within of muslim origin within these countries some percentage
of which will be attracted to this ideology and as long as that continues to be the case i don't see how these things are going to stop happening. jim do the terror groups in your opinion do you think they're getting their message or agenda across with something like this obviously today's tragedy had killed and hurt so many people so if any attention good attention in their eyes i don't think they're doing this to get attention they see themselves as waging war on behalf of a religiously motivated ideology and from their perspective they feel they're winning this is a raid if you will this is a terror attack on an enemy that is being softened up for conquest this there are pre-modern analogies to this going all the way back to you know the seventh century this is this is not anything new or it shouldn't really puzzle people but it seems that there is so much of the especially the intel against the and the elites the run the government in europe who do not want to pay attention to what's really going on which is why you have people like americal throwing open the door to all
these migrants many of whom are very dangerous people thank you so much jim for your time that was former u.s. diplomat jim josh thank you thanks again. back in the u.s. as debates continue to heat up over whether or not confederate statue should stay or be removed others are in mourning remembering the three lives that were lost on saturday artie's natasha sweet has more on how these three are being remembered. thousands came together last night gathering at the university averaging a campus in charlottesville for a candlelight vigil against hate and violence. singing amazing grace many placed their candles around the statue of thomas jefferson the third us president and founder of the university groups also marched around campus observing a moment of silence for thirty two year old heather higher and state troopers burke bates and lieutenant j. colin bates and colin were monitoring the rally in a helicopter saturday and died when it crashed here you can see virginia state
police put out this photo of roses in remembrance of the two shortly after the crash and the two men were very much loved by the community here you see a photo from the richmond general's youth hockey honoring trooper pilot bates who was the coach for the team and his brother craig says bates knew as a toddler that he wanted to serve and protect and misses him every day. just. was going to be overtaxed which was which was a real sort of. bates died just one day before his forty first birthday and he leaves behind a wife and twins a boy or girl his funeral is scheduled for friday in richmond colleagues recall forty eight year old colin as quote a wonderful guy who always had a smile colin was a graduate of the university of virginia leadership program for police and sheriff's and he was the highest running for a pilot with twenty three years of service a pilot for
a current virginia governor terry mcauliffe cohen was in charge of the state police unit he was also an avid mountain biker behind his wife karen two sons ryan and max bailey parents and brothers his funeral is scheduled for saturday in chesterfield virginia virginia state police association is accepting donations to support the families of bates and colon a funeral was held wednesday for thirty two year old heather higher open to the public and everyone more purple her favorite color the man being accused of killing higher has his next hearing set for august twenty fifth in washington to talk to suites. charlottesville police department is facing a lot of criticism for the way it handled the deadly protests over the weekend that left the wind dead and several others endured many people are up in arms saying charlottesville police did not do one not to protect held up protesters from white nationalist white supremacist neo nazis and the ku klux klan however
charlottesville police chief has said he regrets the loss of life and despite the violence that unfolded he stands by his department's response joining me now to discuss this further is matthew fogg retired chief deputy u.s. marshal and ronald hampton retired d.c. metro police officer thank you so much for joining me gentleman now many protesters say that there is a heavy police presence but it appeared that the officers were not intervening like they should and that they were taking the side of the all right i want to quickly take a listen to what. a resident of charlottesville had to say we were on that front line yesterday. you know. and. yesterday was holding stood like. this car to come. and they are. those people. going to see these
people flying that the hotel magnate. my son was this close. from getting here yesterday and. i have it now. so people can live this that. they so violent and please people and. these are you know you go well they are the ones like this woman many people in charlottesville are basically saying it looked like the police weren't on their side so first i ask you matthew what's your response to that well i was concerned about that one of the things is when i saw the fact that these people came with assault weapons i mean you can't become into a peaceful march with no salt weapon so when i sort of back to type weapons they had guns and soap and that the police didn't stop step in right away me is achieved first thing i would have done was said oh no no no you know coming in here to protest of these type of guns and stuff you go back and get rid of that stuff maybe come back but not with that understand you have
a right peaceful right to march but so that told me right there it was a problem there and then the fact that they were able to come in the deer stand around and actually make contact with the with the peaceful protesters all of that there was a problematic all the way around ronald you went out ok what i think there's going to have to be some new guy drawn as it relates to the kind of demonstrations in cities and states where you can open carry your gun called open. so we can allow protesters who are coming in that fast to be very creative. so they're going to have to develop some new rules and regulations about what you could have here in the district of columbia for example if you own federal land they can tell you what kind of pole what kind of sound what kind of literature you can bring to the demonstration because some by the having the right to carry a gun in this loading and all of that and then some if them won't some will not the person becomes emotionally involved in what's to stop him or her from shooting
someone that he is indifferent to so i can see those challenges coming before a court because they're going to say i have the right to have the gun but the police chief ought to be seen if you're going to peacefully demonstrate you can do it with a gun and then should the head you think they should has it all talk is this in the head of kind of thing called there's certain things you bring. to a peaceful amount that can incite more violence as a result of an install asks all those kind of thing to sort of in some rules and regulations about what to can bring how you can bring in what all of the people can do at after they get these regulations you gentlemen are speaking of the governor was saying terry mcauliffe he was saying that they were not prepared for this rally but the police chief thomas he was saying that they were and he was basically denying the claims that counter protesters are saying that it seemed like the police were not doing anything they were not intervening he said at one point where
it looked like things were getting out of hand that's when the police had to change into their riot gear so my question to you matthew and then ronald why weren't these police already in their right to see this whole thing again now they are they claim it was a peaceful read but once they saw these guys coming in were guns or stop at that all flags should have known it but their point but what i'm saying is that chief had authority because as a chief you got certain authority to make decisions on the spot i mean you may not agree with your protester but he could have told them right then and there once he saw the guns and the helmet something that's coming in the same. we plan on having some type of physical contact know your neck coming in here at this point i would have said stop everything all bets are off you go back get rid of stuff you've got your hands and then we do this thing all over again about them allowing them to come forward like that and some ways they were complicit in the fact that these guys started fighting and it's and everybody started everything out and then you get this vehicle we always close off the area all protest group you cordon off the
streets you cordon off the area that's that's one a one security so what i'm saying is the fact is that seeing that car able to breach that security come in there like that and ride down a street that's what is very problematic with all the steps that have earlier you were talking about how some of the things that they were bringing to the to the rally not just the guns but just save the polls and the things they were carrying could be used as weapons later and this is the case that happened on saturday with a young african-american man he was being beaten he was actually being beaten in a garage that was right next to the city's police station now he's being identified as twenty one year old. harris and he says police refuse to enter a vein now if this is the case or ronald why do you think police refused to intervene while white supremacist were ganging up on him and beating this man well . i think they had a problem with intervening in the process and they were laying back trying to i guess do some evaluation about when they were going to intervene and the fact of
the matter is that they shouldn't step forward way earlier than they did in terms of going from four in this day and time to pull loose the promise should have been in the whole demonstration development in terms of what they was going to do how it was women do it i mean in some cities they have agreements and identification about who's going to rest and all of those things that peaceful court mentioned in terms of the activities those are the things that take place in major cities i can imagine that that wouldn't have been. heart of the profit in salary zero zero so to treat to some extent wasn't prepared but he has to be prepared in this day and time and there's the possibility doing that they didn't want to cooperate then that should have been a condition that maybe democracy is not going to happen unless you cooperate with me in terms of what kind of information we need because my job is to protect the citizens in the city of salary right now i have a question i ask you both i'll start with you when it comes to these white
supremacy white nationalists the neo nazis and the k.k.k. should these groups be considered terrorists are they not a threat to citizens in this country absolutely i mean specially when you're talking about when we look at the damage that they've already created and our research ways and they're in we look at this guy does deliver. you know the people down and. everywhere we look we see that there's some type of physical altercation in balance but again when people come to a place and they have weapons assault weapons that time itself means i'm planning on assault something so when you come in that situation there is no friendly fire when you talk about it like like ron said once one shot off track record something goes off and everybody starts shooting now you've got a bloodbath the police have to take control of that right from the beginning like i said it was up to the chief to make that call even though what they was saying they
had a permit it didn't matter what you come in with these weapons you come in with that attitude k.k.k. white supremacy groups they have a certain mantra that they're working under and that is they are the ones that supposed to be running everything and everybody else is somehow diluting their blood you know their cause so the whole thing is about terrorism make sure that we present ourselves in a way that we scare you we frighten the public and that's what they want they want that fear to come across i know words from iran and we have about twenty think you'll find out if i think what. they do what they stand for how they operate what they what they do versus what they don't do. and what kind of group they are in history in this country we have always looked at the clay in the mill ness and move as being turbos so there's no question in my mind that the term was screwed thank you so much gentlemen for your time that was ronald hampton retired d.c. metro police officer not you father retired chief deputy u.s. marshal thank you the stated goal of u.s. and u.s.
backed forces in syria is to defeat the self-proclaimed islam and state in the country however speaking to western media today u.s. allies on the ground said in reality the u.s. presence in the country or outlast that missions completion are to correspondent tell brings us the details. the syrian democratic forces a u.s. backed militia consisting largely of fighters from the kurdish people's protection unit says the u.s. will have a presence in syria for decades to come speaking to reuters s.d.f. spokes person to walls philo said of the united states quote they have a strategy policy for decades to come there will be military economic and political agreements in the long term between the leadership of the northern areas of syria and the u.s. administration the u.s. has provided the s.d.f. with weapons a special forces on the ground and conducted air strikes to assist the militia and battles however the long term goal of the kurds is questionable while their stated
objective is to defeat the self-proclaimed islamic state they've at times clashed with the syrian government suggesting their ambition it may go beyond fighting just the islamic state in fact u.k. based conflict wanted her i.h.s. market reported in april of this year forty three percent of islamic state fighting has targeted the syrian government comparatively in the islamic state directed fighting against the s.d.s. only seventeen percent of the time when questioned by reuters about the long term strategy in syria spokesperson for the us led coalition in the country colonel ryan dillon vaguely stated quote our mission is to defeat isis in designated areas of iraq and syria and to set conditions for follow on operations to increase regional stability without elaborating on what exactly that meant however recent news has exposed the growth of u.s.
influence in the country since the syrian government went to war in two thousand and eleven with militias backed by the governments of the united states turkey qatar and other foreign powers in june satellite images revealed of the location of two new u.s. air strips one located in the syrian border or rather across from the syrian border in. jordan and one on the syrian border in syria according to the daily beast that bases quote could support drones helicopters and special operations airplanes just a few weeks later turkish state media leaks the locations of ten secret u.s. bases in northern syria and move seen as retaliation for u.s. support of the kurds which turkey opposes these are comments from the s.d.s. to just even if the united states failed in its initial goal of ousting syrian president bashar al assad it has been successful in and trenching its military and influence in the country for decades to come in washington on your part until r.t. to continue this conversation i was joined by author and investigative journalist
max blumenthal i first asked him why the u.s. will remain in northern syria long after the job is have been defeated. it's kind of ironic that the u.s. has managed to benefit or maybe it's not ironic maybe this was the intended goal but the u.s. is clearly benefited from a long standing project of destabilizing syria they've carved out as own of influence in eastern syria along the iraqi border and in the northern areas all the way up to ko bani using the kurdish syrian defense forces which is actually a front for the. us general basically told the kurds rename the y p g d s d f so that we can get around the terror designation because the y. p.g. is connected to the people k.k. which we and the turks consider a terror organization so through this proxy the us has established this massive
zone of influence they've established a series of defacto bases and i don't think that the reason that they're there has anything in the long run to do with isis isis was simply a pretext for establishing u.s. influence in this area now once the jihadists are defeated the u.s. can do two things and will likely do two things number one try to replace the in syria air base in turkey which the u.s. used to handle its rebel army equip operations in syria with a new base that it controls through the kurds who are the u.s. considers a much more reliable ally then turkey number two and this is most important and most dangerous which is to challenge what the us sees as iranian and shia influence in the area and this started at the our lead border crossing in the town of autonomy for the us first set up troops on the syrian iraqi border and the whole point of that was to prevent
a contiguous route from tehran through baghdad which is now ruled by a shia majority government through syria all the way to hezbollah and this is what the. u.s. is doing partly on behalf of israel but also its allies in riyadh and in the united arab emirates and i want to get your take now on the u.s. they claim to still be fighting isis in syria now do you think that the u.s. should remain in syria after defeating isis or do you think it's going to do more harm than good well i mean you've seen what's already happened around in these areas where the u.s. has established what could be kind of considered these high tech alamo's that they have to defend at all costs the u.s. is actually attacking shia militias and killing soldiers that are who are indigenous soldiers so this is going to stir up tensions massively but it also is a direct provocation to iran why does the u.s. want to provoke iran why does the u.s.
want to risk you know close quarters combat with iran and shia militias which are allied with iraq and ironically the popular mobilization units that were sponsoring and training in iraq against isis number two this is an effective strategy against isis we are in the u.s. is engaging in close quarters combat with the militias and the armed organizations and the states that are the most effective fighters against isis and that are the most motivated to take on isis and it's the same thing we're seeing in afghanistan why does the u.s. want to take on the taliban in afghanistan when the taliban are taking on isis when iran and russia and india and the countries that have a vested interest who are the regional players have a vested interest in destroying isis why does the u.s. want to be there doesn't really have to do with isis in many ways the u.s. is presence can benefit isis so this is a dangerous scenario that could heat up regional tensions and you know down the
road it could lead to a hot war. i want to read you a statement from the syrian democratic forces spokesman had said quote they have a strategy policy for decades to come talking about the u.s. there will be military acca nomic and political agreements and the long term between the leadership of the northern areas of syria and the u.s. administration now what things need to be put in place in northern syria in order to stabilize and make sure that things on operate smoothly well that's a great question because not all of northern syria is kurdish territory and the kurds have been consistently sold out whether it's by you know the syrian government or by the u.s. and the u.s. is of course infuriated. turkey with what it's done by arming the s.d.f. instead of using turkey and its less effective euphrates shield force in northern syria against isis which is a smart move in my opinion because the turkish forces were actually just
ideologically a shade different than isis but with what we have to consider what could happen in places like russia and around there which are sunni majority arab cities where the u.s. is using kurdish forces to essentially take over through hard to extremely hard urban combat which means driving usually driving out the entire population creating massive masses of internally displaced refugees and then how it's services be restored because the services were previously provided by damascus in these areas and right now the towns around iraq that the u.s. coalition has taken over do not have their services restored what's going to happen to them and what's going to happen to the local population when kurds have taken over these towns will these remains sunni arab areas so there we were looking at massive ethnic conflict down the road because of the u.s. a strategy there are going to have to leave it.